I bet you didn't know I was going to run a race? Well neither did I! No joke - I literally decided to sign up the weekend before the race. My main motivation, besides completing my first race, was the fact that I want to train to complete the Royal Victoria Marathon (RVM) this fall (I intend to run the half). I figured the 10k would be a good way to put the fear of God into me and teach me a lesson about training for a race. And so it was that in the week before the race I ramped up my mileage back up to 10k (I had previously been running that distance). I also managed to injure my knee in those days leading up to race day (April 27th, 2008). So much so that on the Friday before the Sunday race I could barely walk.
I had a moment when I considered not running the race - I wrote my trainer and told him so. He told me I'd been promising him a race for years and it was too late to turn back (sing it with me - Past the point of no return.....) and that he would see me at the finish line! And that was the extra motivation I needed.
The night before race day I was severely nervous - a giddy kind of nervous but nervous nonetheless. But as the boy reminded me - the worst that could happen was that I had to walk the race because of my injury. Either way I would be okay.
On race day I woke up to discover that my stomach was doing a number on me. I honestly have never gone to the washroom so many times in my life!!! In fact when we arrived at the starting area I needed to go.......again! So I found myself a porta potty with a relatively short line. Appearances were deceiving though because people were taking forever. Honestly the boys should have just been made to go in the bushes. With about 2 minutes to go before the start (the wheelchairs had already begun by this point) I finally got in and found myself in THE most unstable toilet ever. Whomever set it up actually put it on an uneven little slope. So when I went to get out it started rocking violently back and forth. Seriously, I was filled with fear that the thing would tip over with me in it and instead of running I would be trying to get out from underneath....ummm.....stuff. Ewww! I narrowly avoided the fate just in time to kiss the boy goodbye, hand him my warm up jacket, and attempt to join the hordes behind the starting line. Except I found myself behind the gates!! I had to jump, retrace my steps to make sure my timing chip passed the start line, and before I knew it........I was off!!!
My goal wasn't to run the most spectacular race. I wanted to run it in 1:15 and run it without stopping - not even for my knee.
Pretty soon I found myself at km2 and realized that I was running at a faster pace than I usually do in the gym. Clearly, there's something to be said for the whole lemming mentality in a race. Happily I also discovered that nothing hurt (yet).
I relished the race - in particular I took extreme delight in being able to grab water at the water stations, chugging back the water, and then throwing the paper cup on the curb. Hahahha! I don't thing I've ever felt more like an athlete in my life! :oP
At one point I found myself running a km near the seaside route where I took my first hesitant trots more than two years ago. Back then that km seemed to last an eternity. In fact I remember the first time I ran it and how it hurt and how badly I wanted to stop. But there was an older gentleman who yelled out "Keep running little girl!" lol And there I was two years later running that much and so much more! From that point in I felt like gold, I made a point of taking off my headphones to enjoy the bands playing on the sides, I waived at the spectators, and I took in the view of the Olympic Mountains from the race course.
Next thing I knew I was on km8. And that's when my left knee and left ankle really began to throb. In fact I got caught in a crush at the water station and stopped for a nano second only to realize that it hurt and I had to keep going or I would feel it. With about a km left to go I spotted my trainer off to the side and yelled hello to him. His girlfriend was there too and they were both so excited to see me there - proud of me too! His girlfriend even ran with me for a little bit on that last kilometre and pulled away to let me make the final dash on my own.
And dash I did!!! In fact I actually managed to sprint across the finish line!! :o) I distinctly remember during the race when Kanye West sang the line "This is history in the making...." And that's how I felt at the finish line. I made my own little history and I was proud. Oh I was more than proud - I was on a ridiculous high!!! In fact it took about a week to wear off. Now I can't wait for the next race. That feeling is definitely addictive!
And how did I do? Chip time said 1:05:50!! Way below my goal time :o) Want to see me cross the finish line? You can see my little head and turquoise outfit go running across the finish line here at approximately 1:07:08 according to the finish line clock.
I can't wait until the next time..........I really can't! I look so happy in that finish line picture above and I want to re-live that feeling. Honestly, I was amazed at what my body could do!